Christmas in Rockefeller Center Tonight on WETM

Rockefeller Center Special

NEW YORK — Starting at 7 PM tonight, we will air a new, three-hour edition of the perennial favorite, the 89th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER. followed by a new musical special: KELLY CLARKSON PRESENTS WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES AROUND from 10:00 until the start of 18 News at 11. Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will be broadcast at their normally scheduled time on WETM 18.2. 

NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” promises an evening of cheer with performances by José Feliciano & CNCO and Pentatonix as well as a special performance by the cast from the Tony and Olivier Award-winning hit Broadway musical “Come From Away” prior to the iconic tree lighting. The annual holiday special will air Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT.

The new additions join previously announced performers Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood, and the Radio City Rockettes. NBC News’ “TODAY” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin are set to host.

Prior to the primetime telecast, Mario Lopez along with NBC4 New York’s Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery will host an additional live hour of the special that will be broadcast on all NBC Owned Television Stations and numerous NBC affiliates around the country starting at 7 p.m. ET including WETM. We will have Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune showing on WETM 18.2 at their normally scheduled times.

During the national broadcast, NBC will air a new promo for Peacock’s original holiday competition series “Baking It,” hosted by Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg, streaming Dec. 2. During the regional hour, viewers will get an early look at the series with a special holiday song by Rudolph and Samberg.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to 1931 during the Great Depression. The first official tree-lighting ceremony occurred two years later in 1933 in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating rink. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55.

The 89th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 79-foot tall, 46-foot wide Norway Spruce from Elkton, Md. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons, will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored energy-efficient LED lights, and topped with a stunning Swarovski star.

NBCUniversal will continue its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation for the 13th year in a row to support tree-planting efforts across the United States. This year NBCUniversal will plant 25,000 trees in areas that have been affected by wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees, having helped to plant more than 400 million trees since it was founded almost 50 years ago.

“Christmas in Rockefeller Center” is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman and Bill Bracken serve as executive producers. Debbie Palacio directs.

In order to create a more inclusive experience for blind and visually impaired viewers, NBCUniversal is proud to present the full NBC broadcast with live audio description on the Secondary Audio Program channel (SAP), provided by Descriptive Video Works. The broadcast will be available with additional audio narration, describing the rich visuals of the tree lighting.

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